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LGBT representation in Gaming.
Posted 7/10/14 , edited 7/19/14
Second edit... that damn Borderline Personality Disorder... sigh... (Thank you for putting up with me and I give my sincerest apologies)

Anyway, I was just curious to get the opinions of the CR community on how the LGBT community is represented in games and the gaming industry as a whole. The only thing that is to be left out of this is your personal feelings on the LGBT community as a whole. There is no need for dismissive or hateful language here.

To get this going I'll quote user BlueOni as her post very clearly sums up the direction of discussion for this topic. It also has a linked video on youtube by The Game Theorists; "Game Theory - Are Video Games Anti-LGBT?"

BlueOni wrote:

A relevant starting point which I think makes some solid points on this matter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmJXHJLZ6M

The highlights:

-Transpeople and drag queens/kings are frequently portrayed in video games as some combination of inhuman, mentally deranged, villainous, violent, and stupid.
-Homosexual males are portrayed in much the same way.
-Positively depicted LGBT characters have a history of being censored right out of games.
-Lesbians are more frequently sexualized than vilified (though sometimes it's both).

Example questions to answer (in your objective or subjective personal view)
Are gay, lesbian, and trans characters represented too often as inhuman, mentally challenged, mentally ill, villainous, violent, or stupid?
What are some LGBT characters that have been censored out of games that you know of?
Why are lesbian or bi-sexual female characters seemingly more acceptable in games and society as a whole?
Is there even a need for more positive representation of LGBT characters in games?



I also want to know if you think that the gaming industry still needs to be pressured to change their view or is the progression now satisfactory? Citing Skyrim as one of them, games are becoming more and more LGBT friendly (I say friendly because I don't think every game should be required to have LGBT character, their inclusions should become more natural,) and give more options especially when it comes to romantic pairings in RPG's. The gaming industry is changing as things are so again, does this even need to be an argument anymore?


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Posted 7/10/14
Ahem! So your basically saying that a miss representation of transgender is your favorite? A transgender women is a women, not a man. They made her a transgender character so they could dodge a bullet because its okay to beat up some freak.

Man riveting way for em to come back to these forums.
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Posted 7/10/14
A relevant starting point which I think makes some solid points on this matter:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdmJXHJLZ6M

The highlights:

-Transpeople and drag queens/kings are frequently portrayed in video games as some combination of inhuman, mentally deranged, villainous, violent, and stupid.
-Homosexual males are portrayed in much the same way.
-Positively depicted LGBT characters have a history of being censored right out of games.
-Lesbians are more frequently sexualized than vilified (though sometimes it's both).

What do you think of this argument, OP?
Posted 7/10/14 , edited 7/10/14

KrnlKrazy wrote:

Ahem! So your basically saying that a miss representation of transgender is your favorite? A transgender women is a women, not a man. They made her a transgender character so they could dodge a bullet because its okay to beat up some freak.

Man riveting way for em to come back to these forums.


I didn't say that at all. Posting the photo of Poison in no way represents my view. She is a representation of how a transwomen has been represented in a game and the industries reaction to her.

The only opinion of mine that I will state as per your comment is that yes, I believe that a transwomen (male to female) is a woman for all intents and purposes. The "wait a minute" is simply a comment in fascination of how the industry at the time, not me, created a clear line where a transwoman is not a woman.

This thread was not created as a platform to solely express my personal views.

Your use of the word freak also just shows your intent to post something hostile. Yes, so the the game could meet the licensing and content rules for Nintendo, who owned the licensing rights, Sega came out and clearly stated that Roxy and Poison are transsexuals and not women. The ones who created that biased rule was Nintendo and those who created the disparity between a woman and a transwoman was Nintendo and Sega.
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Posted 7/10/14
Not gay, and don't currently know anyone who is (that I know of). There is a question I have been meaning to ask of LGBT gamers for awhile now. I really liked the game Enchanted Arms. The gay character, Makoto, was fantastic. I was just curious as to what actual gays thought of the character. He was so overly exaggerated that it made me wonder if he was the gay equivalent of blaxploitation, and therefore possibly insensitive. Is there a word for that?
Posted 7/10/14 , edited 7/10/14

BlueOni wrote:



I think that the argument presented in the video is pretty much accurate, but could use some clarification.

-Bipolar Disorder is not a result of being mentally challenged.
-I don't see what S&M has to do with any of this
- Bipolar Disorder is not a result of being mentally challenged.

1. I did learn a lot about drag that I didn't know. To be honest I know very little about drag so that was interesting.
2. I relearned how great Cloud's cross dressing quest was at some points, and how terribly disturbing other parts were.


1. I agree. Gay and Trans people are most often represented in antagonists, other negative roles, punchlines, stereotypes (Cloud's bath scene.), or in other negative or derogatory ways. Taking from the video it is true that more often than not members of the LGBT community represented in the video are either villiens, inhuman, mentally challenged, have mental disorders, or are considered sexually perverse. Looking at anime we even have the term "Trap." The definition of the term trap refers to something dangerous or implies trickery which both words have negative connotations.

- Video clarification. People with Bipolar Disorder are not mentally challenged. Bipolar Disorder is a psychological illness that is not the result of lowered brain function.

2. I would say yes, gay men are portrayed in the same light. I would say that gay men are more portrayed in stereotypes and exaggerations thought.

3. The removal of openly gay, bisexual, and trans characters from video games is a chronic problem especially when brought to the United States. The US remains a prejudicial, sexist, and homophobic country that targets gay men more more than lesbians. The US approval of homosexuality is still only at about 50% which quite honestly is pathetic when the US defines itself as a socially free nation. Thankfully this is changing and the US has younger generations to thank for that.

False acceptance of lesbians.
In gaming and other entertainment mediums, lesbians are seemingly more acceptable than gays, but this is a bit of an illusion. I think that the reason for this is male dominance and women who reciprocate this idiology. In a male dominated society a woman's perceived roll is to serve men and that a woman's beliefs, emotions, desires, and sexuality are secondary to men and are not to be taken seriously. When presented in an entertainment medium, because if this ideology, lesbianism or bi sexual women and their emotions are not taken seriously. It is seen as a service towards men. The women are together for them and as long as it stays in a fantasy, lesbians are okay. Once that fantasy is dissolved, the male dominated society realizes that a woman's emotions are serious, and that lesbians are not a sexual service, lesbianism is rejected.
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Posted 7/10/14
I like to see more positive portrayals of LGBT people.

Less characters who behave like RED from Hyperdimension and more like everyday heroes like Link or Cloud.


Oh, and if KnM DOES get a reboot, I would LOVE to see a video game of it!
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Posted 7/10/14
Gee I guess I just don't really think about these things when I'm playing a game. I'm guessing that kind of apathy is also fairly common among gamers. Apathy combined with the dearth of people who actually want this to be a thing equals very little incentive for any developer to do anything about it.

I also don't play many games where sexuality is really much of a factor if at all. It really only can be a significant factor in games where the player character is not a player-created homunculus and can have a strong story arc written for them--whether they are the LGBTQetc character or not. I believe anything less than this would result in a mediocre presentation at best, unsatisfying to those who wanted it in the first place and "meh" to those who didn't. And in most of the games I play, the player character is either a player-created homunculus (Fallout 3/NV/Skyrim/Saints Row series) or just a generic stand-in where sex doesn't matter (Just Cause 2) or the player isn't really a character at all (SimCity series and other management sims).

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Posted 7/11/14 , edited 7/11/14


This! And, ty BlueOni.

Like many minorities in media, we are either used for comical characters or antagonists with few and far between sincere, non-generalized into one lump, and serious depictions. But, as we become more and more visible to the public as actual people it starts to get better, and then we get to the "Is it really OK to present them as such, and isn't this dehumanizing them" civil and human rights battle stage. Yaoi, Yuri, and Gender Bending =/= attitudes equality, necessarily. But, they can soften them into softer and more accepting-ish attitudes. Visibility and activism are still very much needed, but it will rub some people the wrong way.

Social change is always going to be a heated topic.

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Posted 7/11/14 , edited 7/11/14
This topic comes up a lot on other gaming websites and so far, a lot of games have done well in representing the LGBT like the ones the OP and others have listed above. I believe that a majority of the gaming community don't personally mind gay video game characters or even playing a gay protagonist, but only as long as that gay character isn't shoehorned in just for the devs to prove a statement.
Posted 7/11/14
I'm quite curious about the necessity of "proper" or better (well, more like politically correct) representation of gender groups in fictional and purely fantastical stories created for entertainment purposes.

It kind of makes me wonder if dragons were real and intelligent, would they also feel the need to correct us on some of our poor portrayals of their kind in our entertainment media?
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Posted 7/11/14 , edited 7/11/14

demongurrl13 wrote:

I'm quite curious about the necessity of "proper" or better (well, more like politically correct) representation of gender groups in fictional and purely fantastical stories created for entertainment purposes.

It kind of makes me wonder if dragons were real and intelligent, would they also feel the need to correct us on some of our poor portrayals of their kind in our entertainment media?


When you have spent zero time with anyone from Mexico, the media you consume can paint the picture for you. For example: asking someone what the Mexican Spanish accent sounds like and the immediate response is Speedy Gonzalez. It's a pretty big problem for Middle-Eastern-Americans right now. And, if your skin has a brownish pigment as well, like, my neighbor's kids inherited some great bronzing genes from their Greek/Italian heritage, and they always getting mistaken for Mexican drug dealers by cops and such.
Posted 7/11/14

MopZ wrote:

When you have spent zero time with anyone from Mexico, the media you consume can paint the picture for you. For example: asking someone what the Mexican Spanish accent sounds like and the immediate response is Speedy Gonzalez. It's a pretty big problem for Middle-Eastern-Americans right now. And, if your skin has a brownish pigment as well, like, my neighbor's kids inherited some great bronzing genes from their Greek/Italian heritage, and they always getting mistaken for Mexican drug dealers by cops and such.


Then the problem really is that people take fictional / imaginary characters as truthful representations of specific groups of people. At least that's the idea I'm getting here. Shouldn't we just educate people to not make assumptions about others based on cartoon characters or other such fictional people?
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Posted 7/11/14
Honestly, when I play a game, I don't look for the total background story of a character. Especially if I just have twenty minutes to spare on the arcades while waiting for my movie to be available for viewing. I have no time for that.
If the character is strong or quick, move combinations that are easily to do, I use that character.
I don't care for the color or the gender or outward appearance.
I don't even read the manual when I play a game.
I rarely play Zangief. It's hard to pull off his moves. I have to basically rotate the joystick, most of the time I can't even do one revolution on a joystick, to pull of his moves.
I can't even do an air combo. I use Wolverine to make it happen. Just press/smash together two buttons and he just do wonders on any Xmen vs StreetFighter, Marvel vs Capcom, etc.
I want to play Chun li and do this:


I suck, so I can only do this:


When I play Borderlands 1 and 2, I pick Lilith and Zer0. Why? Because if everything fails, I hide and run.
Their main power is invisibility.

When I play Twisted Metal, I pick Spectre. Besides for having a really speedy car, its special consisted of a homing missile that ghostly penetrates walls and surroundings.


In short: I don't care for the background story. Or what he or she prefers.
I just want to play a great game.
I don't want any other real issues, including glitches and error messages.

Let me play.
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Posted 7/11/14

demongurrl13 wrote:

I'm quite curious about the necessity of "proper" or better (well, more like politically correct) representation of gender groups in fictional and purely fantastical stories created for entertainment purposes.


I don't think there's anything wrong with there being evil, villainous, or insane LGBT characters in games. I think there is something wrong with there being only or mostly evil, villainous, or insane LGBT characters. It can create the impression in players (many of whom are young and impressionable) that LGBT means sick, dangerous, immoral or hedonistic. I'm all for there being heroes and villains of every kind. It keeps things interesting. But having an industry-wide resistance to certain groups being protagonists while letting them be antagonists isn't "politically incorrect." It's simply bigoted.
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